"This has been the greatest experience in all my life....like a dream."

 Marcellino Safwat is a young person whose journey we've followed for several years, even though he's only 22 years old and graduated from Cairo Conservatoire just this month. In 2012 Marcellino was selected from 600 applicants (auditioned through YouTube videos) to be one of the 120 musicians from 35 countries taking part in the Aldeburgh World Orchestra. Aged 18, he was the youngest member of the orchestra.

 The Aldeburgh World Orchestra project brought together emerging young international musicians to celebrate their talent at an international level as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. The British Council helped Aldeburgh Music to promote the orchestra in the Middle East and North Africa and increase the number of musicians from the region taking part.

 The musicians gathered in residence for three weeks of rehearsals, under the leadership of acclaimed British conductor Sir Mark Elder, at Aldeburgh in the south east of England. They then performed five concerts in the UK, the Netherlands and Germany, ending with a spectacular performance at the Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms.

 Since then Marcellino has continued to work with Aldeburgh Music on British Council-supported projects, along with other talented musicians from Egypt, and will be back there in August 2016 for more collaborations and performances. In addition to all of this, he also holds the prestigious post of co-principal cellist in Cairo Opera Orchestra. And he's not resting on his laurels now that he's graduated: he's thinking about post-graduate studies and, within the next 10 years, becoming a conductor. As he said himself: 'I will never stop, this was just the beginning.'

 To watch a video of Marcellino's Aldeburgh World Orchestra experience click here.